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Review: Double Dealer - Deride at the Top
Double Dealer
Deride at the Top

Label: Limb Music Products
Year released: 2001
Duration: 67:44
Tracks: 12
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 2.5/5

Review online: December 3, 2010
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers Rating
Deride at the Top

Rated 2.83/5 (56.67%) (6 Votes)

I got this as a Christmas gift a number of years ago, and I've listened to it on numerous occasions since. But it's one of those albums that feels great for the first five minutes, but then angers you as it goes on. Featuring one half of Concerto Moon and the other half of Saber Tiger, Double Dealer arguably had some of the most famous players from the Japanese Power Metal scene, and yet Deride At The Top, the band's sophomore effort, is a half-hearted attempt, full of strange twists and outlandish turns. The most annoying aspect is vocalist Takenori Shimoyama, whose thick approach is so hard to discern, I can't tell if he's singing in his native language or the King's English. It's rather irritating, as some of these songs are damn catchy; but alas, I have no way of singing along (well, I can, but I sound like a moron – not knowing the words will do that to ya).

Style-wise, Double Dealer play a melodic brand of Power Metal that takes the Malmsteen template and infuses it with hard rocking parts which sound like Human Fortress, others which have the touch of modern Edguy, and quite a few occasions that recall (as you can well imagine) Concerto Moon. With song titles such as "My Straight Shout Squeezed My Soul" and "If Fate Includes All The Love" you can tell this isn't a well-articulated and thought-provoking listen, but with a strong production, it is at least listenable, and the casual genre buff might discover something of interest here, such as the sweet remake of Concerto Moon's "Time To Die", or even "Petal In The Palace", which shows Double Dealer at the peak of their powers.

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